British electric car startup Arrival lists at $13 billion
Electric vehicle company Arrival has secured the highest ever valuation for a British company on its stock market debut, according to The Times.
The company completed its IPO through a SPAC merger with CIIC Merger Corp this week, and has now listed on the Nasdaq in New York with a current valuation of $13 billion, more than double its November valuation ($5.4 billion). It plans to use approximately in gross proceeds to ramp up delivery of its EVs and expand its global network of Microfactories.
Denis Sverdlov, Founder and CEO of Arrival said going public will allow it to continue to scale globally, bringing vehicles to more cities. Founded in 2015, Arrival, based between Bicester and London, is developing zero-emission electric vehicles for commercial use made from composite materials.
Arrival’s van is expected to begin public road trials with customers this summer, and the Bus is expected to start trials in Q4 with First Bus, one of the UK’s largest transport operators and leaders in sustainable mobility. Production for the Arrival Bus is expected to begin in Q4 and the Arrival an in the second half of 2022.
Instead of constructing one singular large plant, Arrival plans to build a network of microfactories close to the cities where vehicles are purchased. This enables decentralised production which can have benefits for local communities such as hiring local talent, paying local taxes and using the local supply chain. Arrival has already announced its first three Microfactory locations in Bicester, UK, Rock Hill, South Carolina, and Charlotte, North Carolina.
United Parcel Service (UPS) has already committed to purchasing up to 10,000 electric vehicles from Arrival, with the option to order up to an additional 10,000.
Businesses twice as likely as consumers to switch to EVs
Arrival's stock market debut coincided with The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders () calling for greater support for private retail uptake of EVs. New figures show that businesses are twice as likely as consumers to make the switch from petrol or diesel.
New car registrations in 2020 showed only 4.6 per cent of privately bought cars were battery electric vehicles (BEVs), compared with 8.7 per cent for businesses and large fleets. Overall, consumers registered 34,324 BEVs in 2020, compared to 73,881 corporate registrations.
Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said: “When every market is vying for these new technologies, a clear and collaborative strategy engaging all would ensure the UK remains an attractive place both to manufacture and market electric vehicles, helping us achieve our net zero ambition.”
SMMT estimates that there would need to be around 2.3 million public charge points in service by 2030 to provide adequate coverage and tackle range anxiety – meaning more than 700 new charge points would have to be installed every day until the end of the decade.
David Watson, CEO and founder of EV smart charging company Ohme, said the stark differences make it clear that consumers need to be urgently prioritised.
"Improved incentives and the building out of public charging infrastructure will prove crucial in addressing them. But to help make the transition to electric a feasible option for private consumers in the immediate term, the industry must look to smart charging technologies, which bring down the cost and complexity of electric vehicle charging.
"If we want to make the electric revolution a reality and meet our 2030 targets, we must remove the barriers to EV adoption for consumers and see smart technologies adopted at scale in the UK."
Octopus Renewables buys Eclipse Power
The deal, which was completed with funds managed by Octopus, furthers Octopus’ involvement in the electricity distribution sector, having worked with Eclipse since 2018. It will allow Eclipse to continue the expansion of its team, while also investing in its systems, technology, and pipeline, with the ambition of making it one of UK’s leading IDNOs.
Eclipse has secured a portfolio of more than 10,000 connections across residential, industrial, commercial, battery storage and electric vehicle charging customers. Given the focus on electrification of heat, transport and industry in the UK, Eclipse is expected to play an important role in facilitating the UK’s energy transition.
Octopus Renewables is the largest investor of utility scale solar power in Europe, as well as a leading investor in onshore wind and biomass, managing a global portfolio valued at more than £3.5 billion. Institutional investor Nest partnered with the company in March.
Peter Dias, Investment Director, Octopus Renewables, said: “Having worked with Eclipse since 2018 and seeing their exciting growth, we’re thrilled to be able to make this acquisition and support the team to maintain this momentum.
“The acquisition of Eclipse is part of our strategy to identify and back great management teams that are supporting the energy transition. With ongoing support and investment, our investee businesses will have access to the expertise, business networks and financing to be able to scale faster and help contribute towards the UK’s net-zero goals.
“High-quality management of the distribution networks is going to be critical for the UK, and we are very pleased to be directly supporting the decarbonisation of heat, transport, and industry through this acquisition of Eclipse.”
Gary Gay, Managing Director, Eclipse, added Octopus shares a clear understanding of the important role that electricity distribution networks will play in the UK’s drive towards net-zero, and importance of a customer-focussed approach for building future smart distribution networks.
“With that, we are excited to now be part of the Octopus Group, with this investment helping us to reach the next stage of our growth journey and contribute to a greener, more efficient electricity network in the UK.”
Global renewables updates
ReNew Power recently won a 200MW/ac Interstate Transmission System (ISTS) solar generation project in an auction conducted by the Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company. ReNew Power expects to sign a 25-Year Power Purchase Agreement with the utility by the third fiscal quarter of 2022 to supply clean energy to Maharashtra at a tariff of Rs 2.43/ kWh (~US$0.033).
Natel Energy, a supplier of sustainable hydropower solutions, has announced a $20M funding round led by Breakthrough Energy Ventures and supported by Chevron Technology Ventures.
The company will use the funding to deploy its Restoration Hydro Turbine (RHT), which enables cost-effective production of distributed reliable renewable energy.
Duke Energy Florida plans to invest an estimated $1 billion in 10 new solar power plants across Florida, including the construction of four new sites, which will begin in early 2022 and will take approximately 9 to 12 months to complete. Construction of all 10 sites is projected to be finished by late 2024.
LG Electronics has made public its commitment to transition completely to renewable energy by 2050 as a key component of its sustainability strategy.